'Nothing of the Week'

photo: corona louvre terrace, mr ferrat

M. Ferrat calmly awaits the arrival of the club's
secretary on La Corona's terrace.

No 'Geek of the Week' Either

Paris:- Thursday, 28. June 2001:- The mini-heat wave popped the temperature up to about 35 on Tuesday and a big clap of thunder early Wednesday morning finished it off. Yesterday it was cooler, mostly overcast and it got a bit humid in the afternoon.

This morning it was bright again, with a bit of wind pushing the gas around. The city announced free residential parking again to try to get motorists off the roads and into the métro or on the buses.

Getting out into the brightness woke me up, and shifted my sluggish brain into a higher gear, getting it set up for this afternoon's club meeting.

Climbing down into the métro for the ride to Châtelet showed it had retained some of Tuesday's heat - the métro takes longer to cool off and makes its own heat in winter. Not many people were riding it.

I think this is because they are already on the Rue de Rivoli, cruising around looking for the best of the best summer sales bargains. The 'Soldes d'Eté' started on Tuesday after all.

Radio-news said this season's discounts are starting at 40 percent off, because shops have stocks of springphoto: paris shirts, 3 for 100 f goods a third higher than usual, and everything has got to go so the fall stuff can get on the shelves. Everybody I see is carrying shopping bags, both small and big ones.

At the Quai du Louvre a troop of Spanish kids is on the corner trying to get its bearings. The block between Samaritaine and La Corona has turned into snack-joint city & terrace, to waylay the starving after their adventures in the Louvre.

Now 'on sale' - designer t-shirts, every one with 'Paris' written on them.

There isn't much sidewalk left after this but it opens wide again near the club's café, where some of the terrace is occupied by people who like cool drinks on terraces more than snack bars.

In the café's 'grande salle' there is exactly one customer. The club's 'Waiter of the Week' Monsieur Ferrat shows me how tidy the club's section is, and I compliment him on the job he did on it a couple of weeks ago too.

I get to write the date and meeting number in both the members' booklet and in the reports' booklet before anybody arrives. There is even time to assign numbers to the last eight week's worth of new members. As of last week's meeting, the total is 251.

There is time for it so I wonder how the sun can blaze off car windshields into the café. In theory, the sun is on the other side, but the way the reflections are you would think it is somewhere in the east - maybe above Samaritaine's roof.

Outside, motorcycles make motor noises, brakes squeal, trucks growl, scooters whine or whir, andphoto: classic club decor traffic idles, while hot drivers talk into their telephones. The métro underground rumbles too.

I think telephoning has replaced listening to car radios. They won't hear Radio-FIP tell them they are in a big traffic jam on the Quai du Louvre. Maybe they are all ordering pizza.

At 15:55 there are five people in the 'grande salle,' and none of them are Café Metropole members. I cheer Monsieur Ferrat up by ordering an Orangina. He was looking worried.

A piece of La Corona's tastefully classic decor, with fronds.

By 16:20 it is getting a bit cloudy, stopping the light reflections from windshields. The café's crowd has reduced itself to a couple, who have been in it since 15:30.

Idly I go through the members' booklet. It is full of facts - or statistics, like a long-running baseball game. It is beginning to look like a no-member meeting, and when I check I see it is the first one of these this year. Can I call this the 'No-member of the Week' meeting?

In fact, I have to go back all the way to 20. July 2000 to find the last one. There have been meetings with no new members, like the one on 30. November when I fractured my knee and members Marilyn Burke and Charles Eitel sat for two hours watching me turn green.

What else haven't we got in this report? There is no 'City of the Week.' There is no 'Quote of the Week.' There is no 'Corona Hot Dog of the Week.' There is no 'Spilt Wine of the Week.' There is no 'Group Photo of the Week.' There is no 'Feet of the Week!' And there is no 'Geek of the Week,' which means nobody is biting snakes' heads off in La Corona today.

Actually, it is the first club meeting in a long time that is peaceful enough to write these philosophical 'report' notes while the meeting is actually happening.

By 16:45 I am almost hoping this is going to be a shut-out - no hits, no misses, no strikes, no walks, no errors, no one left on base, no score, tied for nothing - one time a meeting got up to 16:50 like this and then a member wandered in and spoiled a perfect 'zero' meeting.

This is when I start imagining - how many new members turned up on Wednesday instead? How manyphoto: club area, empty are standing outside right now and can't find La Corona? How many are so engrossed with the summer sales that they've forgotten all about today's club meeting?

I could tell you this is this week's 'group photo,' but I am not in it, so I won't.

Five o'clock arrives on time so I pack up the meeting's tools, toss down 22 francs plus tip for the Orangina, tuck in my shirt, tug up my jeans - I should have worn my white sneakers after all! - and go and tell Monsieur Ferrat it is not the end of the world.

No doubt by next week the new members who were standing out in front of La Corona this afternoon, will have figured out where it is and will have let me know about their little boo-boo, the rascals.

If they do, I will add these details to the next meeting's report. Don't miss it. It will be right here, like the last 48 consecutive meetings with members present.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

All of the expired 'rules' and other so-called 'information' is semi- nonsense, but you can still trust the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page to tell you where to find the club in Paris at least - and the day and time of the meetings.

If you have memorized this already, it could still a good idea to look at this page. It contains a virtual replica of the club's membership card which is not an item to be found on other Web sites.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The next Café Metropole Club meeting in Paris will be held on Thursday, 5. July, which is the day known as Saint-Antoine's Day. This special day may be one with a full moon but it will not interfere with the club's regular meeting even if you've never experienced one in Paris before.

The day after will be just another ordinary Sainte-Mariette's day, which was on a club-meeting day last year - when I was absent, on holidays.

The café La Corona meeting place will be open as it is incessantly as well as every Thursday. Your club's meeting time will again be from 15:00 to 17:00 in Europe's Central European Timephoto: l'addition, orangina Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'COME' - and otherwise known as 3 pm to 5 pm elsewhere.

The club's secretary, also known as 'Ed,' will be making some 'report' notes during the coming meeting but there's no need to worry about this because 'Ed' can write more notes than no members present saying nothing can speak, in exceptional cases.

Not to worry - after the photo I polished off the drink.

Prepare to have your new 'Quote of the Week' ready or put your own new 'City of the Week' forward or even invent any other 'Things of the Week,' especially if you want to become mildly famous for two weeks on account of maybe having these things mentioned in a meeting's club 'report,' unlike this one.

Share your well-chosen words and thoughtful thoughts with other members - and all readers of this online magazine with the free Paris club for readers who 'just want to be' members - especially because it is nearly free except for La Corona's 'l'addition' - and if they are in Paris.

The café's location is:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny - or - 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Pont-Neuf or Châtelet.

A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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– unless stated otherwise.
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